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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (debate)

  Bas Eickhout, Rapporteur. – Mr President, first of all, since we are all in a thanking mood, I would like to thank Commissioner Arias Cañete for all his work. Of course we had our moments when we didn’t agree. I spent some of those hours together with you and I have to say that at all times, we had a good dialogue. We did not always agree, but there was always mutual respect and I think that’s also the way forward. You’re absolutely right. We achieved quite a lot on climate, on mobility, and on energy, but the work is not done, as you said. We are not on track yet for our climate-neutral economy and we need to act faster; Greta Thunberg also made that point very strongly yesterday. Indeed, that’s one of the reasons why the elections in May will be about climate change. It will be a climate change election.

Just to conclude on this subject, Mr Peter Liese, thank you very much for coming back. Of course I can tell you where we, as a Parliament, improved the text and made it more ambitious, and it’s on three very important issues. First of all, the 2030 target is now legally binding, which it was not in the initial proposal. That is very important because it’s a very clear signal for where to go. Secondly, we closed quite a few loopholes in the proposals, the most important one being super credits, which are weakening when it comes to getting to your targets. We replaced them with a benchmark for low- and zero-emission vehicles. And thirdly, we improved the on-road in-service conformity to make sure that what we agree on paper is also going to be achieved in reality, which is very important, as you should know after dieselgate.

So those three elements are crucial. On top of that, there are a lot of technical improvements and a review clause etc., etc., but these three things give a very clear signal to investors, and to manufacturers, that the future will be about zero- and low-emission vehicles and that just continuing with your current technologies will not do. That is a crucial element. It is an improvement compared with the initial proposal, so I had to give you that answer.

Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to the vote, and let’s see what we can do afterwards, especially in the run-up to the UN summit in September in New York. I expect that the European Union will increase its national determined contribution when we head off to New York. I see the Commissioner praying, so, for once, I will pray along.

Last updated: 9 July 2019Legal notice